Something unusual happened yesterday: both kiddos were in bed and asleep before 9 pm. How did this happen? Magic, perhaps. Dunno. And it didn’t really matter. The tired, sickish, but delighted parents decided it was film night and if tummy flu hadn’t been a thing in our home this week, chocolate ice-cream would have also made it into the equation. Alas, my tummy was still a bit upset but I was well enough to sit on the couch and watch some Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Now, there was a time when we would decide on doing a Harry Potter film marathon and starting at 7ish pm and watching two films a night we would be done in two weekends (or four days in a row if there was some holiday going on). But those days are now gone, and squeezing an hour here, an hour there, it is taking us forever to get through just one film! I think that at this speed we could be watching Harry Potter for a year before we would be done with all eight films. Ah, the joys of parenthood. Well, there are definitely much worse things in these parenting journey.
And there are many good, rewarding things as well. Travelling is one of them. Travelling with children can be a very enriching experience. And lots of fun. And they might end up loving Harry Potter as much as you do if you take them to some of these iconic sites (and if J.K. Rowling keeps on milking her Harry Potter cow the way she’s been doing so far, making sure that every generation will be touched by its magic).
Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station, London.
Oh, Platform 9 3/4. That’s where the magic really begins. Okay, Harry might have already gotten a glimpse of magic when he ventured into Diagon Alley with Hagrid to buy his school supplies but it was at platform 9 3/4 where he boarded the Hogwarts Express to kickstart his
adventures training in all things wizardry. It was also here, right before that wall where he met his best friend Ron. And Platform 9 3/4 was probably one of the first iconic landmarks born out of the Harry Potter hype. I mean, now a platform 9 3/4 even exists at King’s Cross Station. Kind of.
While you cannot cross any wall into a magic world where people wear cloaks and had owls, rats and toads as pets, you can certainly have your picture taken while you pretend to be crossing said wall. It is not cheap and there’s always a queue, but you can always step aside and take a picture of the trolley while there’s no one around. Much like I did. After that you can take a look around the Shop at the Platform 9 3/4 which has some of the most overpriced merchandising ever.
Leadenhall Market, London.
Parts of this elegant covered market were used as the setting for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Leadenhall Market dates back from the 14th century and is right at the historic centre of London, in the City.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England.
This ancient castle in the north of England was featured as Hogwarts School in the first two Harry Potter films.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The making of Harry Potter.
Now, according to my London travel guide, prices for a family of four are about 83 pound, though children under four enter for free. Being a Harry Potter fan, or Potterhead, if you prefer, doesn’t come cheap. But it is so wonderful. And magical. And this studio tour looks really interesting. Here you can see Hogwarts’ dining hall or the Forbidden Forest and the number of exhibitions just keeps growing.
Hogwarts Express, Fort William, Scotland.
This might be one of the newest attractions in the Harry Potter imaginarium. And it sounds so cool. Apparently, you can now ride the very same steam train that took Harry and co. to Hogwarts year after year. The old Jacobite locomotive was put back into motion last year and it makes the way from Fort William to Mallaig and back. Besides enjoying a delightful train ride and the views of the glorious Scottish highlands, you will also see the now famous Glenfinnan viaduct.
Have you been to any of those sites? Do you know of any other Harry Potter related places worth a visit?
Happy Friday! And have a good Easter weekend!